Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Celebrating NICU Life with Listen to Your Mother

Each spring, select cities throughout the U.S. and Canada host the annual storytelling show, Listen to Your Mother. Listen to Your Mother is a national series of locally-produced shows in which local writers, authors, storytellers, bloggers, and more take the stage to share their written works on the beauty and the beast that is motherhood.

Since its inception in 2010, many NICU parents have graced the Listen to Your Mother stage. Here we’ve compiled several stories that illustrate the heartbreak, the guilt, the anxiety, but also the hope of being a NICU parent.

As her preemie prepares to start kindergarten, Kathryn Whitaker is flooded with memories of the difficult first few years of her son Luke’s life, yet comforted by the grace of God’s love. (Kathryn formerly served as the Preemie Babies 101 Lead Blogger!)

Cindy Crook learns to redefine “fine” after her daughter is diagnosed with a neurological condition in the NICU.

With humor and heart, preemie mom (and Preemie Babies 101 contributor) Andrea Mullenmeister recalls the trauma of the premature birth of her son.

When Claire Bartick is told that continuing with a high risk pregnancy would not only be dangerous for her, but surely end in loss, she makes a decision to continue loving and hoping no matter what the outcome.

In this beautiful essay, Buffie LaRocca describes the gut-wrenching first days of the NICU, and the joy of watching her son progress.

From 2015, author and Preemie Babies 101 contributor Kayla Aimee describes the loss of control she felt in the NICU, and how it prepared her to be grateful for the mess of motherhood and the little things in life.

In this video from 2013, Lizz Porter recounts the ups and downs of her son’s NICU journey. Max was born at 28 weeks after Lizz suffered a sudden and severe bout of preeclampsia.

From 2012, our Preemie Babies 101 Lead Blogger Leigh Ann Torres realizes that although she was pushed into motherhood unexpectedly, she was able to adjust and find her footing in the NICU.

For more information about Listen to Your Mother, visit their website and YouTube channel.

4 Things You Can Do When Someone You Love is in the Hospital

mom and baby NICU preemie hospital stay hand to hold

The following is a guest post from a member of our Hand to Hold - NICU Family Voices community. If you have an essay, an experience, or tips you would like to share with our readers, please email leighann@handtohold.org. by Natalie … [Continue reading]

Breastfeeing a Preemie: A 3 Year Journey.

dad feeding NICU baby breastfeeding hand to hold prematurity preemie

My breastfeeding journey began kind of hectic, you could say. I had just had a c-section, effectively birthing a 26-weeker, and was whisked to a recovery room where nurses hooked me up to a breast pump and told me I had to do this now! Of course I … [Continue reading]

{Professional Insight} Postpartum PTSD: How to Manage a Traumatic Birth Experience

PTSD traumatic birth hand to hold Anna Glezer

The following post is the third installment of a three-part series on PPD and PTSD in NICU parents. Visit part 1, Postpartum Depression and PTSD in Fathers, and part 2, Postpartum Depression After a Complicated Delivery.  A Traumatic … [Continue reading]

My Preemie Did Not Graduate From Early Intervention


My preemie just finished his first few weeks of preschool. After a rocky first few days, everyone says he is doing just fine. I was so surprised to hear that, considering neither one of us handles transitions well. (I think having a certain stuffed … [Continue reading]